So tasty, but so much I am probably mispronouncing on the menu.

So, yesterday was one of those holidays.

You know the ones – the ones that you feel a little conflicted about honoring even if you enjoy a little party every now and then, the ones where it just seems a little too much like you can feel the grinning specter of corporate profit looming over everything.

But it IS nice to have an excuse to celebrate something, especially now, and so I bought a box of chocolates and around lunchtime we realized we’d need to do SOMEthing for dinner but didn’t yet have a plan. After a brief Google search revealed that some places were doing prix fixe meals in honor of the occasion, we rolled the dice and tried shooting an email to a place to see if we could arrange some last-minute takeout from a place we’d never tried before.

To my very great surprise, the answer was “No, sorry, we’re not accepting takeout orders for tonight – but we’ve just had a couple of cancellations. Want to dine in instead?”

Well. I mean. Why not?

And so it was that we found ourselves heading down to St. Clair to try some Filipino food at Lamesa. No sooner had we pulled into the public parking space when a departing driver offered us their parking ticket, which was fortuitously paid through to the next morning. Serendipity was really with us, I suppose!

As to the dinner itself: I am by no means an authority on this particular cuisine – I think I have sampled it a grand total of once – but this was excellent in my opinion. I had:

  • An amuse-bouche of crisp wontons with a sausage filling
  • Ukoy, a kind of shrimp-and-vegetable fritter
  • A main of chicken adobo with rice
  • Mango tiramisu for dessert

All of the courses were tasty, with an interesting balance of textures and of sweet/sour/salt/acid that I think is characteristic of Filipino cuisine in general. These are big, bright, powerful flavors that are easy to linger over with a cocktail. The service was great, too, and the space is charming and cozy – in non-pandemic times I can easily imagine it being a vibrant little neighborhood spot. I’d be interested in going back in order to try some of their other offerings!

…I’d be interested in going anywhere, really. Going out now – being out in the world – really drives home how limited our environments have been during the pandemic. How little there is to do, and how much of what there IS is mediated by screens. It’s been both kind of exciting and kind of exhausting to get out and about in the World these days (I certainly find myself wanting to curl up and not engage with anyone when I get home.) I wonder how long that will take to go away? If it will go away?

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